• Patti Smith in Sydney

    Patti Smith in Australia

  • Robert Matheu photo

    Sonics Rendezvous Band - The One That Got Away

  • Murray Bennett photo

    Here Comes The Sun: Sunnyboys Live in 2017

The night Rickie-Lee was one of us

rickie

Heads up: Rickie Lee Jones was magnificent. As well as being a great gig, it was quite a strange evening.

So, ho! Once more to the magnificent Governor Hindmarsh Hotel (aka The Gov), to which I have been arriving in all sorts of moods to see all sorts of bands since I think 1979. No Fixed Address (many times), Drum Poetry (once), The Birthday Party (the last of three memorable nights in Adelaide). And so on.

Actually, because the Gov is such a great venue, if you are coming to Adelaide, it is one of a handful of ‘I gotta go there’ venues. Thankfully it’s not a toilet like CBGBs or the 100 Club used to be: the Tonkin family have long-since revamped and reworked the place into a rather wonderful, cosy, recreational area for grown-up. The food is always good, bar or restaurant, the staff always fit into their team (I’ve never encountered a shit or indifferent staff member) and the place seems comfy and perfect even on Adelaide’s famous disgustingly hot days.

Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol by Steve Jones (William Heinemann) & Anger is An Energy. My Life Uncensored by John Lydon (Simon and Schuster)

lonely boyHere are two books from people whose names you may know that are essential purchases.  

This is from “Lonely Boy”:

… all bands are basically the fucking same. The reason I still - to this day - love watching documentaries about bands like the Eagles … is that I can totally relate to them. The personalities involved and the reasons for the tensions between them never seem to change.

The singer - because the job requires the kind of person who wants to be in the front going ‘look at me, look at me’ - will almost always be very insecure, and usually a bit of a cunt. Then there’s the guitarist, who wants to get all the pussy, and there’s always at least one weird introvert…

Lead Guitarist Syndrome and Lead Singer Syndrome are terms you don’t see in the Macquarie, or the OED. But they exist, in fact if not in print.

Going Back To Wurstville - King Salami & The Cumberland Three (Off The Hip)

wurstvilleThree days, no brakes, something to celebrate. That’s the state I’ve found myself in after constantly playing King Salami & The Cumberland Three. This is what music is all about: Transcending barriers that are put up by the music snobs.

How the hell do you get a Japanese punk joining forces with a French punk and then finding a Caribbean tennis teacher for oral scintillation? Then they come up with a name that covers a love of sausages, calling themselves “the best party band in the British Isles” And they pull it off. How?

The answer is Music, pure delightful music. Music that you dance to. Music that you can surf to. Music that you can chop wood to. Pure music.

Chris Masuak and his Harbour City Wave Riders cut a swathe

 
The I-94 Bar presented Chris Masuak and The Harbour City Wave Riders shows are making their way through and around Sydney. BZ Filmco shot this footage of the band tearing through "Niagara" at a packed Factory Floor last Friday night.

After a Wollongong show last Saturday and a private gig in Maiitland, the former Radio Birdman guitar slinger and his crack crew move onto Newcastle"s Small Ballroom on Friday and Narrabeen RSL on Saturday. Tickets fro Newcastle are here and Narrabeen here. The whirlwind run winds up with Chris playing a free solo show at The Midnight Spedcial in Newtown on Sunday night.  

Iconic Rock and Roll markets stage Sydney support show

page1image2240Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll & Alternative Market has hit a roadblock and is taking a detour. In place of the usual market on April 2, a huge support concert for the much-loved market is taking place at The Factory Theatre, Marrickville. 

Featuring a stellar line-up over two stages of Market favourites, including The Allniters and The Detonators, this is a one-off and unmissable show.

For six-and-a-half years, Sydney Rock’n’Roll & Alternative Market has brought Sydney a mini music festival every two months, with a vast selection of unique and carefully curated stalls and an all-day entertainment line-up of interstate, local and international bands and DJs.

Hit with some very trying weather conditions over the last nine months, organisers decided to stage an almighty concert rather than fold their tent.

Last drummer standing brings his own Animals to play

John Steel Piotr BienieckiOriginal Animals drummer John Steel.  Piotr Bieniecki photo

This May, The Animals are touring Australia and New Zealand.

No, Eric Burdon won’t be with them. He lost the rights to the name in 2008, partly because it was evident to a judge that the name was one of convenience to him. However…

John Steel is one of the co-founders of The Animals. Apart from singer Eric Burdon - now performing under his own name with his own cast of Animals - Steel is the member who has been with most of the incarnations. It's his version of The Animals making the trip down under in May.

Watch "I Can Control Your Mind" from James McCann and The New Vindictives

 
Melbourne's James McCann is one of Australia's iunderrated rock and roll talents. This is "I Can Control Your Mind" from the forthcoming album "Gotta Lotta Move-Boom" (Beast Records vinyl/Off The Hip CD) co written with Penny Ikinger. and was shot on location at Nighthawks in Coliingwood, Melbourne. Say James: "Penny plays the Pennycaster and sings on it too. Working with Penny is an honour and a joy. She is the real deal."

Celibate Rifles put rumours to bed and make a claim for greatness

damien narrabeenDamien Lovelock leads the Celibate Rifles.    Shona Ross photo

It was a big week for rumours - and that’s not a reference to that awful Fleetwood Mac album being on high rotation.

Celibate Rifles were playing two successive nights in Sydney. A Friday at the near dormant ‘80s venue Carmens at Miranda in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, and a Saturday at one of their local stomping grounds, Narrabeen RSL.

It was about a fortnight before that the gossip started to fly.

Fifteen years and going strong: Off The Hip still burns bright

mickster at off the hipMickster Baty at home in his Off The Hip shop.

The music industry is a shallow trench full of sharks and transient imprints, to paraphrase Hunter S Thompson. Independent record labels come and go with the regularity of manufactured reality TV stars and only a few manage to find their niche and prosper. In Australia, only Citadel is still standing from the halycon days of the 1980s. A few rose in the '90s to fill the gaps left by the demise of Phantom and Waterfront. Since the 2000s, the most enduring has been Melbourne-based Off The Hip.

oth logoOff The Hip grew out co-founder Mick ("Mickster") Baty's love of all things garage rock, powerpop and psychedelia. A drummer and veteran of one of Sydney's finest garage-trash outfits, The Crusaders, he went on to killer powerpop bands The Pyramidiacs and The Finkers. Baty saw Off The Hip as an outlet for his own music. He had re-located to Melbourne by then and formed The Stoneage Hearts, a shifting cast of players who produced top-shelf garage rock with a pop bent.

A retail operaiton operating out of his house morphed into a bricks-and-mortar shop in Melbourne's CBD and a floodgate of releases via the fledgling label ensued. It's been an enduring success - on its own terms - since then. Off The Hip - the label and the shop - have inspired and contrinuted to the existence and growth of hundreds of bands. 

Last month, the Off The Hip label celebrated its 15th birthday. We decided it was high-time for Mickster to occupy the interview seat.

More Articles ...